The Arkansas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to reports of a shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff. At least one student is reportedly in serious condition.
“We shouldn’t have to live like this. Schools should be places where we can feel safe focusing on our education, not worrying about getting shot. Our hearts are with the Watson Chapel Junior High community,” said Lydia Quinn, a volunteer with Conway High School Students Demand Action. “We need our lawmakers to take action to keep us safe and prevent shootings like this from happening, but instead they want to force even more guns into our schools. We’re committed to fighting back against dangerous bills like HB 1556 that would do so.”
HB 1556, currently under consideration, is a dangerous “guns everywhere” proposal which would force K-12 schools to allow handguns to be carried by anyone over 21, whether they are carried by teachers, administrators, or visitors. More guns in schools increases the risks that students will access guns. Guns in schools is not an effective solution to active shooter incidents, and guns in schools complicates law enforcement’s response to emergencies. Read more on how to keep schools safe from gun violence here.